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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable Investment Primer
Janet Lowe's book is a reasonable book that is easy to read. I agree with other critisms that have been made that the book spends too much time dealing with anecdotal information rather than discussing value investing. If you want a pseudo-biography, then this is okay, but all the useful stuff is available to the laymen in The Intelligent Investor already.
Published on August 21, 1998

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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Janet Lowe on Benjamin Graham's extra-marital affairs
This is basically Graham's life story, with a curious emphasis on his alleged "womanizing" and macho attitude -- that were quite typical of the era yet seem to fascinate and repel the author no end (whereas I, for one, am totally disinterested).
Still, the book would be OK if it was entitled something like "The Life and Times of Benjamin...
Published on January 24, 1999


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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Janet Lowe on Benjamin Graham's extra-marital affairs, January 24, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street (Paperback)
This is basically Graham's life story, with a curious emphasis on his alleged "womanizing" and macho attitude -- that were quite typical of the era yet seem to fascinate and repel the author no end (whereas I, for one, am totally disinterested).
Still, the book would be OK if it was entitled something like "The Life and Times of Benjamin Graham".
But calling it "Benjamin Graham on Value Investing" is in my opinion a misrepresentation.
I would say there are less than 10 pages' worth of "lessons from the dean of Wall Street", barely skimmed, and scattered all over the book.
For readers who are not yet too serious about their investments, this may be a brief and painless introduction to the concept of value investing; but for my money, what little appears here of Graham's thinking was better explained and better organized in every other book by or about Graham that I've read, as well as most general textbooks on personal investment.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stream of Consciousness Biography of Value Investor Graham, July 14, 1997
By A Customer
The adage "Don't judge a book by its cover" proves to be true for Janet Lowe's book about Ben Graham. In fact, after reading this book, the adage can be updated to "Don't judge a book by its cover, its subtitle, or its endorsements."

Let's start with the book's subtitle, "Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street." The subtitle makes it sound as if Ms. Lowe's book explains Mr. Graham's investment ideas. This impression is reinforced when you read the endorsements on the book's dust cover. There you'll find quotes from a handful of investment managers (including Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway and John Bogle of the Vanguard Group) that extol the virture of Mr. Graham's ideas and the importance of Ms. Lowe's book.

Ms. Lowe's book turns out to be biography that intersperses some of Mr. Graham's ideas throughout its 230 pages. More pages are devoted to information about Mr. Graham's mistresses than to details about his investment ideas. Thankfully, the book is a quick read.

From the extensive endnotes that appear at the end of the book, it's evident that Ms. Lowe spent a great deal of time researching her subject. Unfortunately, her presentation of this information needs a better structure and more focus.

The book jumps back and forth through time, often repeating information that had been discussed earlier. This happened so frequently that I had to pause several times to figure out if I was re-reading a section.

Worse yet, Ms. Lowe seems to get lost in this time warp herself. At one point, she tells us that Mr. Graham's son was in his early teens in the mid-1960's and then, two pages later, tells us that the same son enrolled at Berkeley in 1963. Unless the son was a child prodigy (and we're not told that he was), both pieces of information can't possibly be correct.

A biography should concentrate on its subject matter. In this case, that would be Benjamin Graham. However, Ms. Lowe loses this focus. Do I need to know that Mr. Buffet read Mr. Graham's The Intelligent Investor when Mr. Buffet was 19? Maybe. Do I have to be told this two more times? I don't think so. And in the second half of the book, she talks so much about Mr. Buffet that I almost forgot who the book was about.

Then there's the inconsequential information that she includes. While investigating a subject, the researcher is always going to uncover interesting facts. The writer's task is to determine which ones are essential for the story and which ones to reserve for cocktail conversation. Ms. Lowe doesn't make this distinction. While I was happy to read that one of Mr.Graham's distant relatives made so much money by investing with him that she was able to buy her condo for cash, this anecdote doesn't further our understanding of the man or his ideas. We already know that he was successful investor.

Another distraction is her use of subchapter headings. When they're used properly, they help organize the information that you're reading. In Ms. Lowe's book, they're used so haphazardly and some times so frequently (in some chapters, they're used after every third paragraph) that they lose any signficance that they might have had.

If you're an investor looking for detailed information about Mr. Graham's theories, Ms. Lowe's book isn't the one to read. Better choices would be either Mr. Graham's The Intelligent Investor or his Security Analysis written with David Dodd. If you're an investor looking for information about Graham's life outside of investing, you might find something in Ms. Lowe's book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars AVOID!!!, September 3, 2002
By 
mikesmonopoly "mikesmonopoly" (Maplewood, MN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street (Paperback)
This book is near useless! Don't let the title fool you this book has near nothing to do with Graham's views on value investing. It is an extremly boring book on Ben's life, one which makes me have little or no respect for Ben as a person. I made the mistake of choosing this book hoping to pick up some tips and save a few bucks on the cover price, instead of buying the sure things (Intelligent Investor or Security Anaylsis). Those looking to be a value investor, this is one where there is little "value" in my opinion, and money would better be served somewhere else.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable Investment Primer, August 21, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street (Paperback)
Janet Lowe's book is a reasonable book that is easy to read. I agree with other critisms that have been made that the book spends too much time dealing with anecdotal information rather than discussing value investing. If you want a pseudo-biography, then this is okay, but all the useful stuff is available to the laymen in The Intelligent Investor already.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biography, August 12, 2009
By 
Mariusz Skonieczny "Author" (classicvalueinvestors com) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street (Paperback)
The book should be titled: Biography of Benjamin Graham. For those who are interested in his life, this book is for you, but if you want to learn about value investing, then just read author's other books.

Graham's commandments:

1. Be an investor, not a speculator.
2. Understand the difference between price and value.
3. Rake the market for bargains.
4. Buy the Graham formula.
5. Regard corporate figures with suspicion.
6. Don't expect every decision to be perfect.
7. Smart investing does not require higher math.
8. Rule #1: Diversify with stocks and bonds.
9. Rule #2: Diversify with a wide variety of stocks.
10. When in doubt, stick to quality.
11. Dividends provide a clue.
12. Defend your shareholder rights.
13. Be patient.
14. Think for yourself.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wall Street history buffs will enjoy, as will investors, February 20, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street (Paperback)
Wall Street really does have a culture of its own, a history, its heros. Graham was one of them. Good book about his life, his philosophy, investment record, and the impact he had on the big investors of today, Warren Buffett the star among them. Entertaining story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Graham, March 13, 2010
I highly recommend "Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street", a biography by Janet Lowe.

Benjamin Graham practically invented the securities analysis profession. He literally wrote their book, "Security Analysis" first published in 1934 - still in print after multiple updates.

Graham's even more popular book, "The Intelligent Investor" brought the value investing concept to individual investors; In that work Graham popularized terms that remain core to value investing; "intrinsic value", "margin of safety", and "Mr. Market". Warren Buffet called "The Intelligent Investor" the best book on investing he ever read.

Janet Lowe's treatment of Graham's life and his life's work is interesting, easy to read, and presents Graham's core investing principles in simple terms.

I enjoyed "Benjamin Graham on Value Investing" and I also learned a good bit from it.

Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street
[...]
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mentor of giants., July 30, 2007
By 
This review is from: Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street (Paperback)
For me, billionaires are intriguing. For reasons I can't explain, I always seem to identify with their perspective on life and sifting through the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people always provides me with an interesting investigation into the minds of the compulsively successful. Warren Buffet certainly falls into that category. While reading about Warren Buffet I came across the name Benjamin Graham. Low and behold discovering Graham, further uncovered Buffet. While the famous students of Graham have displayed their own unique brands of brilliance, there is no denying Graham's obvious influence on their methods. Graham seemed to be more of a numbers artist, than a mathematical genius. His love of fair play and honesty created a group of level headed investment strategist that have set the tone for decency for decades. While this is not Pulitzer Prize winning stuff, it is an intriguing retrospective about an artist disguised as a genius and who he inspired.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Biography of Graham - Not a "How To"Book, August 21, 2014
This review is from: Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street (Paperback)
I agree with many of the reviewers that this is not a formulaic "Invest the Graham Way" book. The title is misleading. This is a fairly well written and entertaining biography of Benjamin Graham - and the philosophies of his investment approach are covered within that context. To understand the approach, it does help to understand the man behind it - and Graham was nothing if he wasn't an interesting guy. A man who helped make many miulti-millionaires or even billionaires - Graham was more intrigued by the intellectual than the financial. A man with vices - his imperfections are presented in such a way as to be fair, balanced and generally complete. All in all - not what I expected, but a great read nonetheless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It and it really is a life history of Ben Graham, April 20, 2010
This review is from: Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street (Paperback)
I loved it. I almost did't buy the book based on the other reviews saying it was a life story of Benjamin Graham.

Then I thought, I really believe in the ideas in "The Intelligent Investor", and "Securities Analysis". And I read them, and I do believe in these value investing ideas. I want the back-story too.

I consider it a strong biography. Well worth your time.

Brad Gillespie
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Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street
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